The Senate and Assembly are expected to vote on the measure by Thursday, April 6, which is the deadline set by the Governor and legislative leadership to complete work on a transportation funding package.
SB 1, the $5.2 billion annual transportation funding and accountability agreement, represents years of work led by Sen. Beall, Assembly Member Frazier, the Pro Tem, Speaker and the Fix Our Roads Coalition, of which the League is a founding member. The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 is a significant investment in California’s transportation infrastructure and if passed by the Legislature will provide the funding necessary to start repairing the state and local road system. California’s streets and roads face a $73 billion backlog of maintenance needs. The measure invests $52.4 billion in the next decade split equally between the state and local system.
League President and Lodi City Council Member JoAnne Mounce commended the leadership and determination shown by the Governor, Senate President pro Tem and Speaker of the Assembly. “After years of discussion, debate and negotiation on transportation, our Governor and legislative leaders have made monumental progress with the crafting of this agreement. Their commitment in making transportation a priority and coming together on the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 will have a lasting impact on Californians for generations. The League and the cities of California are ready to get to work on our streets and begin fixing many years of deferred maintenance.”
“Californians are sick and tired of driving on bad roads and we are all paying the cost of disrepair, traffic congestion and unsafe roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure,” said League Executive Director Carolyn Coleman. “We want to thank the Governor and Legislative leaders and encourage all members of the legislature to pass this responsible plan by April 6.”
The Governor’s press release
on the package provides some of the key details. The League has developed a document
that contains these details and other information.
The fact that this financial package contains significant funds for cities and counties did not come by accident. It has taken years of work by the League and the California State Association of Counties, along with the County Engineers Association of California and California Regional Transportation Planning Agencies, to educate state policy leaders and the public about the failing conditions of local streets and roads.
Since 2008, this group has prepared and released the biennial California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment
, which surveys California’s 58 counties and 482 cities and captures data from more than 99 percent of the state’s local streets and roads. The most recent report, released in October 2016, documented the $73 billion backlog and found that 65 percent of streets and roads are at risk. Without additional funding, in 10 years it is projected that 22 percent of local streets and roads will be in failed condition.
The League has also been an active leader in the efforts of the Fix Our Roads Coalition
since its formation to advance funding solutions to California’s transportation funding crisis. Formed in 2015, the coalition comprises a large group of transportation stakeholders including cities, counties, business, labor and transportation advance solutions to the transportation funding challenge.
With a robust financing package finally in place, and the legislative leadership, Governor and a coalition of stakeholders united in support, it is time for the Legislature to finish the job and approve this much-needed investment package for California’s future.